You can no longer install applications on your TV box? Google might have a solution for you. In a blog post posted on November 21, 2022, the internet giant announced significant changes to the way apps are installed on Android TV and Google TV devices.
A 20% lighter app format
From May 2023, all development teams that deliver apps on Google TV/Android TV will need to switch from APK format to AAB format. This will, according to the Internet giant, optimize the space available on its TV box. The AAB format, which Google has been talking about at least since 2018, makes it possible to reduce the weight of applications by around 20% and to send unused apps to the memory archives where they will occupy 60% less space than if they remained installed, while remaining easily restorable in case of need.
Unlike the APK format that accompanied the early days of Android, the AAB format downloads only the resources a device needs to install the application. No need to download all language packs, all different app versions with different resolutions; this new format only downloads the content adapted to the device, which considerably reduces the size of the apps and also allows faster installation.
Google knows the problem well.
To reassure developers, Google assures that switching an app from APK format to AAB format should not take more than three working days. Be careful though, if you have a TV app listed on the Play Store, don’t procrastinate too much since Google will reserve the right to “hide” apps that do not use the new AAB format from May 2023.
Google justifies this transition by explaining that “smartphones often have a minimum storage capacity of 64 GB, but smart TVs only average 8 GB.The company knows something about this since its Chromecast 4K with Google TV only has 8 GB of storage. This has sometimes caused problems in rolling out updates to the device.
Google is therefore solving a problem that it helped to create. After all, you are never better served than by yourself.